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Monday, December 10, 2007

We Three Kings: The Beginning 

Skid's Note: In order to revive Murky Depth and keep it going, I'm adding to my old format of "Gripe Article," "What Might Pass For Humor Article," and "Pugnacious Kerfuffle." I've decided to include an exciting serial (to be updated periodically, in between articles of the aforementioned variety). This series will follow the action-packed, occasionally incomprehensible adventures of....well, you'll see. Enjoy. Or not.

The Beginning

"Hey Steve. STEVE! Wake yo' ass up!"

Stephen rolled over and yawned, checking his bedside clock. 6:30 AM.

"Don't make me put a boot in yo' ass! Get out here!"

Stephen got out of bed, careful not to wake Tabitha. He walked to the bedroom window, stretching and belching softly as he looked from his bedroom window. It was a nearly cloudless morning, and windy. The air from the Gulf carried only the slightest chill. Near the spiderweb gate was parked a pearl lavender 1972 Cadillac El Dorado, complete with a white carriage top. Stephen could see a shaggy grey mass sticking out of the driver's window.

"Oh shit," Stephen hissed as he fumbled with his clothes and made for the door, closing it quietly behind him.

Stephen stepped from the front door of his home and made his way towards the car. The engine was purring softly, and he could hear the faint sound of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" playing over the stereo. Don was in the front seat, glaring at him with a gigantic, half-burned cigar between his teeth. He just glared silently until Stephen got the gate opened and approached the vehicle.

"The fuck are you doing here?" Stephen asked, still slightly groggy.

"The fuck is you doin' here, Steve?" King replied, removing the cigar from his teeth on the word here. "I thought yo' ass lived in Maine."

"In the summer, yeah. It's December, Don."

Don was inconsolable. "Do you know, I had to drive my ass all the way from Vegas to Maine, only come to find out, yo' ass wasn't there? You in motherfuckin' Sarasota motherfuckin' Florida."

Stephen nodded, humoring him. "Yeah, sorry to hear that. I'm sure you're heartbroken."

"I am!" Don said, reinserting the cigar. "SCEPTER wants us to meet them at the D.C. headquarters."

"What's it about?"

"We'll get a full brief at the HQ. I'll tell you what I know about it after we pick up our third man."

Stephen pointed at the car's radio. "So I take it B.B. is joining us again?"

"Hell no," Don muttered. "My brotha's diabetes is all actin' up on him."

Stephen raised his eyebrows. "Rodney?"

"Man, shit no!" Don snapped, sending spittle flying on shit. "That nigga ain't worth shit 'cept gettin' his ass kicked."

"So I guess that just leaves Carol, then," Stephen shrugged.

Don turned his head, and a toothy grin crept across his face. He shook his head no.

"Billie Jean?"

Don held his grin. Removing the cigar again and leaning in close, he replied quietly: "Larry."

Stephen recoiled slightly. "Larry? What the fuck is he good for?"

"Motherfucka please," Don scoffed. "His ass is precog, and telenakimetic!"

Stephen rolled his eyes. It took practice to learn Don's language.

"Okay then," Stephen started, then noticed no one else was in the car. "Um...where is he?"

"L.A." Don said casually.

"Los Angeles? But you were in Vegas."

Don turned to Stephen, face blank. "So?"

Stephen closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "So why didn't you just pick him up first, then come by and get me? Now you have to drive all the way to California to pick him up, then all the way back to Washington to SCEPTER's headquarters."

"The fuck I am! I already drove to Maine lookin' for yo' ass!" Don raged. "All them cracker asses with their lobsters and scrimps and shit. Freakin' my ass out. And I'm tired, too!"

"Okay, fine. Move over and I'll drive us," Stephen replied soothingly as he opened the driver's door. Don reluctantly moved across the mink upholstered seat to let him in. Stephen put the Caddy in gear and glanced one more time at his house. He sighed.

"I was going to do some writing today, too."

"What?" Don asked as he stubbed out his cigar in the car's already full ashtray.

"Nothing," Stephen said as he accelerated slowly, pointing the car west. "Nothing at all."

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